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CONCRET E

BL OCK PAVI NG
A walk-over in cost, looks and
durability for Concrete Block Paving
Book 1 Introduction
Concrete Block Paving
Book 1: Introduction
Published by the
Concrete Manufacturers Association
Block D
Lone Creek
Waterfall Office Park
Bekker Road
Midrand
South Africa
P.O. Box 168 Halfway House 1685
Telephone: +27 11 805 6742
Fax +27 86 524 9216
e-mail: main.cma@gmail.com
website: www.cma.org.za
SECTION 1 INTRODUCTION AND HISTORY
SECTION 2 APPLICATIONS OF CONCRETE BLOCK PAVING
Roads
Commercial Projects
Industrial Areas
Domestic Paving
Specialised Applications
SECTION 3 LABOUR-BASED CONSTRUCTION
SECTION 4 PATTERNS IN CONCRETE BLOCK PAVING
SECTION 5 COMPARISON OF CONCRETE BLOCK PAVING WITH
OTHER TYPES OF PAVEMENT
SECTION 6 FUTURE OF CONCRETE BLOCK PAVING
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CONTENTS CONTENTS
1 INTRODUCTION
Segmented concrete paving is a system of individual
shaped blocks arranged to form a continuous hard-
wearing surface overlay.
Over the past two decades, paving composed of
segmental blocks has become a feature of our towns
and cities. It is to be found in commercial industrial
and residential areas, in the paving malls, plazas,
parking areas and bus stops. It has been successfully
used for embankment walls, slope protection
and erosion control. During this period, extensive
research has been carried out on the engineering
characteristics and structural performance of
segmental block paving. Existing pavements subjected
to heavy bus traffic and industrial loads have
been monitored and their service life shown to be
satisfactory. The South African Bureau of Standards
has published specifications relating to the quality
of concrete paving blocks and required standards
of construction. The Committee of Urban Transport
Authorities has published a catalogue of designs for
segmental block pavements.
The engineering and specification aspects have
been satisfactorily solved, and this type of paving
has a proven performance and service record.
But the aesthetic use of segmented paving and
the contribution it can make to improve our urban
landscape is only now being appreciated.
HISTORY
Although pavers made out of concrete may be a
new product, the use of paving blocks as a surfacing
material is anything but new. The first record of stone
paving dates back to 4000 BC in Assyria and by 2000
BC, flagstones were being used to pave village streets.
Cobblestones were the traditional method of stone
paving, being uncut and often water-worn stones or
large pebbles about 150mm in size. Later hand-cut
stone blocks were introduced.
Road-making using brick was common in Mesopotamia
in 2000 BC and clay brick paving was in use in
India in 300 BC. It was the Romans who introduced
hexagonal-shaped flagstones as a surface course, so
the concept of shaped, rather than rectangular blocks,
is certainly not new.
Perhaps the most famous of all Roman roads is the
Appian Way, built by Roman engineers in 312 BC.
The 377 kilometre road was surfaced with tight-fitting
paving stones that still carries traffic between Rome
and Italys south-eastern port of Brindisi.
4
Concrete paving blocks were first manufactured in
the Netherlands in 1924. It was probably World
War II that led to the growth of concrete blocks as a
paving material. Large areas of the Netherlands were
destroyed during the War and, because clay bricks
were in short supply (and what was available was
being used to rebuild housing), concrete blocks were
introduced as an alternative. Subsequently, concrete
block paving (cbp) became recognised as a paving
material in its own right.
The research carried out by Shackel in the late 70s
and early 80s remains the most comprehensive yet
conducted into the performance of concrete block
paving. A hierarchy of block shapes was developed, the
existing design curves were examined, the role of the
bedding and jointing sands was investigated in earnest,
and various base and sub-base materials were tested.
Most of the research by Shackel was carried out at
the CSIR in South Africa. This has resulted in South
Africa being recognised as a world leader in concrete
block paving.
1 INTRODUCTION
Roman road built 2000 years ago using segmented paving.
These are still in existence today.
5
Figure 1: Use of pavers worldwide (in millions of square metres per annum).
United Kingdom 12
South Africa 8
Other 142
Germany 100
Netherlands 18
United States of America 12
Some of the best known earlier
installations in South Africa,
Aggeneys and Harrismith
Phuhaditjhaba Roads are still
performing well.
2 APPLICATIONS OF CONCRETE BLOCK PAVING
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Indoor areas
Places of worship
INDUSTRIAL AREAS
Factories and warehouses
Container depots
Military applications
Mines
Wastewater reduction works
Quarries
Airports and harbours
DOMESTIC PAVING
Pool surrounds
Driveways
Patios
Townhouses and cluster homes
SPECIALISED APPLICATIONS
Cladding vertical surfaces
Stormwater channels
Embankment protection under freeways
Roof decks
Concrete pavers are a versatile paving material,
which due to the availability of many shapes, sizes and
colours, has endless streetscape design possibilities.
The use of concrete block paving can be divided into
the following categories:
ROADS
Main roads
Residential roads
Urban renewal
Intersections
Toll plazas
Pedestrian crossings
Taxi ranks
Steep slopes
Pavements (sidewalks)
COMMERCIAL PROJECTS
Car parks
Shopping centres and malls
Parks and recreation centres
Golf courses and country clubs
Zoos
Office parks
Service stations
Bus termini
2 APPLICATIONS OF CONCRETE BLOCK PAVING
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The change in texture of the road
surface at intersections produces
an audible change in road noise,
thereby alerting drivers to the
fact that they are approaching
the intersection. The surface
characteristics of the blocks offer
a greater resistance to skidding
in wet weather, largely due to the
chamfered joints of the blocks and
the rapid dissipation of surface
water. Should remedial work be
necessary, e.g. on underground
services, blocks can be removed
and replaced without impairing
the overall appearance of the road
pavement. The use of red blocks
on roads at the approaches to the
intersection produces a distinct
visual difference, thereby promoting
care and awareness among drivers.
Major road construction using
concrete block paving. A technically
excellent surfacing, which also
provides community upliftment in
the form of job creation during
construction (see section 3).
At pedestrian crossings, a
designer can place a different
texture or colour from that of
the street or parking area. This
distinguishes pedestrian areas from
vehicular areas, providing a safe
haven for the pedestrian, especially
those with physical handicaps.
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ROADS
Sidewalks accommodate foot traffic
and other activities such as vending
public art, outdoor cafes, etc.

Main roads More and more
municipal roads are being paved
with concrete block paving. Not only
does concrete block paving provide
a functional, hard-wearing surface
requiring minimum maintenance,
but it also harmonises with the
environment.
Toll plazas By using concrete block
paving differing in colour from that
of the conventional road surfacing,
the pay toll section becomes highly
visible, even from a distance,
alerting the driver to the pay point.
Differences in texture resulting from
the shape and laying pattern of the
blocks produces changes in the
noise level, further increasing driver
awareness.
The concrete block paving also
provides a safer road surface for
braking than conventional surfacing
materials.

9
ROADS
Concrete block paving is the ideal
material for use in the construction
of steep slopes.
Concrete block paving has been
used successfully on a number
of urban renewal projects (both
locally and overseas) to uplift the city
centre.
Concrete block paving is used to
enhance the most prestigious
residential areas.
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COMMERCIAL
PROJECTS
Car parks are typically exposed
to the full rigours of sun and
rain. Unlike asphalt surfaces,
concrete block paving shows little
weathering or deterioration under
these circumstances and yields low
maintenance costs. An imaginative
designer can overcome the drab
monotony too often characteristic
of parking lots, by exploiting the
wide range of colours and textures
provided by concrete pavers.
Another advantage of concrete
block paving is the maintenance-free
demarcation of parking areas.
At shopping centres, concrete
block paving offers a clear
demarcation to help channel
pedestrian traffic and to blend in
with the shopping environment.
Taxi ranks are areas which
require hard-wearing surfaces
and, if properly constructed,
should last decades with minimum
maintenance. Concrete block
paving is a lighter colour than
asphalt, which keeps temperatures
lower during hot summer days.
Demarcated lanes ensure orderly
queuing, loading and unloading of
passengers.
LOW RES SCAN
152%. ANOTHER
PIC NEEDED
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COMMERCIAL
PROJECTS
Concrete block paving provides an
attractive hard-wearing surface
for parks. It blends with the
environment and breaks up the
harshness of conventional hard
landscaping.
Concrete block paving blends in
perfectly with the environment,
making it the ideal material for
landscaping at golf courses and
country clubs.
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COMMERCIAL
PROJECTS
Coloured pavers can be put to good
use to create patterns and even
pictures.
An increasing number of office
complexes are being constructed
in residential areas and concrete
block paving plays an important
role in blending the offices with the
surrounding environment. This helps
foster a neighbourly spirit.
13
COMMERCIAL
PROJECTS
Concrete block paving is used
extensively for service station
forecourts not only because it
resists the oil and petrol spillages,
but also because of its load bearing
capacity and ability to accommodate
slewing stopping and starting
movements of vehicles.
To the municipal engineer, bus
termini present a perennial design
problem. Typically buses comprise
some of the heaviest vehicles on
normal roads and streets. These
slow-moving vehicles continually stop
and start at the same locations
and can quickly cause rutting in
flexible pavements. This problem is
aggravated by the spillage of oil and
lubricants typical of bus operations,
which leads to fluxing and softening
of asphaltic materials. To overcome
these problems, engineers are
increasingly turning to the use of
interlocking concrete block paving.
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COMMERCIAL
PROJECTS
Concrete block paving provides
a functional, attractive and cost
effective floor at education centres.
Concrete block paving provides
a cost effective yet aesthetically
pleasing solution to the extensive
parking areas required for places of
worship.
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INDUSTRIAL AREAS
At factories and warehouses
concrete block paving has the ability
to withstand concentrated heavy
loads and to resist the wheel loads
of off-road vehicles such as cranes
and forklifts.
Container depots are subjected to
some of the heaviest traffic loading
as well as heavy long-term static
loading. Throughout the world,
concrete block paving is recognised
as the most suitable and cost
effective method of surfacing
these areas.
At factories and warehouses,
concrete block paving has the ability
to withstand concentrated heavy
loads and resist the wheel loads of
off-road vehicle such as cranes and
forklifts.
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INDUSTRIAL AREAS
Even the tremendous forces induced
by the slewing and turning of tanks
in military applications do not
damage concrete block paving.
Mechanised mining requires a hard-
wearing surface capable of carrying
extremely high loads and a surface
that can be laid and opened to
traffic immediately. Concrete block
paving is the logical choice.
Concrete block paving reduces
the maintenance of wastewater
reduction works and other similar
amenities.
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INDUSTRIAL AREAS
Airports and harbours use
concrete pavers because they
halve the construction time when
compared to removing and replacing
asphalt. Pavers can be used to
mark a distinct location for the pilot
to park. Chamfers on the pavers
contribute to their ability to shed
surface water quickly.
Concrete block paving provides a
tough hard-wearing surface. Used
for roads in quarries, it reduces
maintenance of the vehicles as well
as lowering the dust level. A further
major advantage is that when the
road alignment needs to be altered
to suit the quarry operation, the
block can be lifted and relaid along
the new route.
DOMESTIC PAVING
Concrete block paving provides
functional yet very attractive pool
surrounds.
A driveway paved with concrete
block paving will enhance the value
of property. Concrete block paving is
both attractive and functional.
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DOMESTIC PAVING
Concrete block paving blends in
with the landscape and increases
the attractiveness and value of
townhouses and cluster homes.
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SPECIALISED
APPLICATIONS
Concrete block paving is not limited
to flat, level surfaces, but can be laid
on near-vertical surfaces to create
interesting architectural features
as shown in the water feature on
the left and the island below.
20
The crocodile farm near Brits used
concrete block paving extensively
to pave the entire area. Concrete
block paving was chosen because it
provided a non-destructible, non-slip
surface.
SPECIALISED
APPLICATIONS
Embankment protection alongside
freeways. The use of concrete block
paving is a very effective and quick
method of slope protection.
21
Concrete block paving using specially
developed blocks has been used
successfully in lining stormwater
channels.
Century City roof deck with a good
detail across the expansion joint.
The construction of roads using concrete block
paving provides benefits to the community, which
extend much further than the provision of roads
and the creation of employment. It develops
a sense of pride and ownership amongst the
community. As a result, the sidewalks are grassed,
houses painted and the entire area is uplifted. This
is a phenomenon observed not only here in South
Africa, but also overseas in countries such as
Australia and Colombia.
A number of major projects in South Africa have
already been successfully completed, and the
improvement in the community and the neighbourhood
is remarkable.
Experience has shown that where the community is
involved in the planning and construction of a concrete
block roadway, 25 40% of the total project cost
will remain in the community. This will help spawn
secondary and tertiary industries resulting in an
economically self-sufficient community.
Township roads being constructed
in Ntuzuma, near Durban, using
concrete block paving. Not only does
this provide a high-quality long-lasting
road with low maintenance, but the
construction of roads using concrete
block paving creates employment
and develops a sense of pride and
ownership in the community.
The Reconstruction and Development Programme
(RDP) sets out many goals aimed at bringing about
fundamental change in South Africa. Amongst these
goals are:
Development of infrastructure
The creation of employment
The development of entrepreneurial skills and
empowerment of the people.
The construction of roads using concrete block paving
(cbp) satisfies many of the goals of the RDP. Concrete
block paved roads are more labour-intensive and less
capital-intensive than alternative methods of surfacing.
The construction process is relatively straightforward
and can be divided into a number of tasks.
Furthermore, the skills acquired can be used not only
for paving, but for other building and masonry work.
The advantage of constructing roads using concrete
block paving is that the methods of construction do
not need to be adjusted to make it labour-intensive, it
already is so.
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3 LABOUR-BASED CONSTRUCTION
3 LABOUR-BASED
CONSTRUCTION
Many South African township roads
are unpaved, resulting in unhealthy
and squalid living condition. The
quality of life is poor and the
determination to improve ones
lifestyle is low.
Concrete block paving provides an
attractive, long lasting maintenance
free road. Belabela is a good
example of what can be achieved.
Besides the obvious visible benefits
that a road brings to a township,
where the people have been involved
in the reconstruction of these roads,
there is a sense of ownership and
pride in the neighbourhood, resulting
in a total upliftment of the area as is
evident from these photographs in
Belabela, taken two years after the
road was completed.
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Concrete block pavers come in a variety of shapes and
sizes (See Figure 2 for a list of shapes available).
If we consider for a moment the aesthetics of concrete
block paving, three fundamental aspects present
themselves:
Shapes
Colours
Patterns
Applying just a few variables to each aspect presents a
myriad of options from which even the most discerning
client may happily choose.
No amount of text or visual material could do full
justice to these options; accordingly, this self-
explanatory presentation serves purely to stir the
imagination regarding the limitless possibilities of
concrete block paving.
Indeed, based on the above technical elements,
together with aesthetic and economic criteria,
producers worldwide and in South Africa undertake
continuing research to develop new concrete paving
products that enlarge these choices further.
Only a few of the shapes available to the South African
market are presented here and details of those not
shown may be obtained from the manufacturers.
Honeystyle Corolock Double zig zag
Double Lock Vibrolock
G-Blok Craz E G-Blok
Roadliner
Bevel Brick Masonique
Bond Brick Rectangular
Classipave Stylepave
Corostone Traditional
Bush Stone Footstone
Coroplaza Rumblestone
Corovilla Trojan
CottageStone Savannah
Country Block Spartan
Figure 2: Summary of shapes available
Clover
Tiffany
Classic Cobble Cape Cobble
Cobble Craz E Classic Cobble
Concobble Double Cobble
Village Cobble Court Stone
Corolink Unique
Keystone Romanpave
Uni-Decor
Aristocrat Satinpave Conleaf
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SHAPES
The illustration below shows the range of available
shapes and trade names.
4 PATTERNS IN CONCRETE BLOCK PAVING
COLOURS
Illustrated below are some of the range of standard
colours available. Many pigments are used by South
African paving block manufacturers which, together
with aggregates from different areas and various
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PATTERNS
Patterns are determined by the shape of a specific
paving block. The three patterns shown below are
the basic patterns for the more traditional oblong or
interlocking blocks.
The laying pattern is an important factor in the
performance of block pavements and, based on tests
and field observations, it is widely accepted that blocks
Red
Herringbone
Figure 3: The three basic laying patterns for paving in South Africa.
cements, produce a huge variety of colours from which
to choose. Multiblends are produced by the incomplete
mixing of pigments and give a pleasing effect when laid
over large areas.
Charcoal Grey Tan Brown
laid in herringbone bond do perform better under
traffic loads than pavements laid in stretcher bond or
basket weave.
Other blocks, because of their different geometry, can
produce a far greater variety of patterns. Even the
simplest block, however, is perceived to produce a multi-
tude of patterns when two or more colours are used.
Stretcher
Basket Weave
MONTAGE OF PATTERNS
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27
28
MONTAGE OF PATTERNS
29
30
In certain specific areas of application, block paving,
with its cost-effectiveness, aesthetic qualities, ease
of construction and maintenance and in-service
advantages, is the paving of choice. In Table 2,
a comparison with conventional flexible and rigid
pavements, based on these attributes is given.
In general, it can be said that concrete block paving
excels in terms of cost and performance in the
following circumstances:
Where heavy or concentrated wheel loads are to
be carried and especially where a high frequency of
turning or slewing movements is expected.
Where volume of traffic is high.
Where subgrade conditions are poor.
Where the pavement must withstand severe
in-service conditions such as considerable
temperature variations, frequent fuel, oil or
lubricant spillage or extensive, significant and
substained settlement.
Where ready access to underground services is
required.
Where the appearance and aesthetic qualities of
the pavement are major design considerations.
8
6
4
2
1960 1970 1980 1990 2000
Where planning may require alterations in the
pavement layout within the effective service life of
the blocks, base or sub-base.
Figure 4: Growth in concrete block paving in
South Africa.
Concrete block
paving million
square metres
ADVANTAGES OF CONCRETE
BLOCK OVER ASPHALT AND
RIGID CONCRETE PAVING
High abrasion and skid resistance.
No damage from petroleum products.
No damage from concentrated point loads or high
temperatures.
No damage by soap or detergents.
A feature of many modern pavements is the
incorporation of design patterns such as coats of
arms, maps, insignia, crests, animals, birds, etc,
in the paving by using different coloured blocks.
These artistic mosaics can be used to depict and
commemorate historical events by means of maps
and diagrams, patterns can be utilised to control
traffic flow, while coloured blocks in playgrounds can
demarcate game and boundary lines.
The market for paving blocks is, at present, a growing
one. One of the main reasons for the growth of
this very specialised market would seem to be the
worldwide tendency for beautification of cities, parks
and gardens. This requires a modern concrete paving
product, which is quick and easy to lay, and besides
being aesthetically pleasing, has the advantage of
excellent performance under traffic.
Figure 4 shows the growth in the concrete block
paving market since its inception in the late 1950s.
Because of its greater acceptance, not only for roads,
driveways and parking areas, but also for other
applications such as airports, harbours and mines,
it is expected that this market will continue to grow.
One area which promises the greatest potential, is the
paving of township roads as part of the employment
creation programme.
2005
10
5 COMPARISON OF CONCRETE BLOCK PAVING
WITH OTHER TYPES OF PAVEMENT
6 FUTURE OF CONCRETE
BLOCK PAVING
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Block D, Lone Creek, Waterfall Office Park, Bekker Road, Midrand.
PO Box 168 Halfway House 1685
Tel +27 11 805 6742, Fax +27 86 524 9216
e-mail: main.cma@gmail.com website: www.cma.org.za
PRODUCER MEMBERS
Bafokeng Concor Technicrete 014 538 0818
Baybrick 035 792 5218
Bosun Brick Midrand 011 310 1176
Brick & Concrete Industries (Namibia) 0026 461 321 3009
Brickcast Industries 031 507 5525
Brickbuild T/A Panda (Botswana) 0026 724 42106
Cape Brick 021 511 2006
C.E.L. Paving Products 022 905 5998
Cast Industries 011 316 2375
Columbia DBL 021 905 1665
Concor Technicrete 011 495 2200
Concor Technicrete P.E. 041 372 2230
Conframat 016 987 3381
Corobrik 031 560 3911
Deranco Paving 041 933 2755
Inca Concrete Products 021 904 1620
Inca Masonry Products 043 745 1215
Infraset Gauteng 011 652 0000
KZN 031 569 6900
Kopano 016 363 0340
Mobicast Mossel Bay 044 874 2268
MVA Bricks 012 386 0050
Neat Contech 046 624 3377
Stanger Brick & Tile 032 457 0237
Stone Age Concepts 011 740 0910
Vanstone Precast 012 541 2056
Watson Concrete 011 704 0910
West End Bricks 011 851 1828
Zenzele Brix 012 803 6884
CONTRACTOR MEMBERS
Daron Construction 034 955 1333
Galaxy Paving 011 815 1175
Mondo Paving & Retaining Walls 011 467 1111
PYW Paving 031 763 5771
Roadstone Civil & Paving 011 683 7080
S A Paving Gauteng 031 705 5123
The Paving Creations 031 765 4083
Vesles Civils 012 662 3030/1
Valcal International 011 867 2471
ASSOCIATE MEMBERS
Inca (Cape) 021 904 1620
Smartstone 011 310 1161
PAVING DIVISION MEMBERS (FEBRUARY 2009)
CONCRETE
BLOCK PAVI NG
CONCRETE
BLOCK PAVI NG
CONCRETE
BLOCK PAVI NG
A WALK-OVER IN COST, LOOKS AND
DURABILITY FOR CONCRETE BLOCK
CONCRETE
BLOCK PAVI NG
Book 2 Design Aspects
CONCRETE
BLOCK PAVI NG
CONCRETE
BLOCK PAVI NG
A WALK-OVER IN COST, LOOKS AND
DURABILITY FOR CONCRETE BLOCK
A WALK-OVER IN COST, LOOKS AND
DURABILITY FOR CONCRETE BLOCK
A WALK-OVER IN COST, LOOKS AND
DURABILITY FOR CONCRETE BLOCK
A WALK-OVER IN COST, LOOKS AND
DURABILITY FOR CONCRETE BLOCK
A WALK-OVER IN COST, LOOKS AND
DURABILITY FOR CONCRETE BLOCK
Book 1 Introduction Book 3 Specification & Installation
Book 4 Site management and laying Book 5 Training Manual Book 6 Facilitators Guide
Block D, Lone Creek, Waterfall Office Park, Bekker Road, Midrand, South Africa.
PO Box 168 Halfway House 1685
Tel +27 11 805 6742, Fax +27 86 524 9216
e-mail: main.cma@gmail.com website: www.cma.org.za